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NEWS
March 4, 2012 | By Kristin E. Holmes, Inquirer Staff Writer
They walked in wearing matching T-shirts, banged on drums, and waved posters and flags as though cheering a home team. They were, in a way. They were celebrating the virtues of the schools they love in a plea to save them. That was the message Saturday as scores of students, faculty, parents, and community members attended a daylong hearing of the School Reform Commission. It was the last chance for supporters to make their case for schools the School District of Philadelphia has targeted for closing.
NEWS
September 13, 2010
By Jack Stollsteimer The recent news that the Philadelphia School District has seen its number of "persistently dangerous" schools drop by 20 percent should be cause for optimism. Disciplinary policy changes that I advocated while I was the state safe schools advocate, which were implemented with the strong support of Mayor Nutter and Superintendent Arlene Ackerman in 2008, may be having the hoped-for effect. With most matters in the school district, however, every step forward is accompanied by at least one step backward.
NEWS
January 18, 2000 | By David Boldt
Trying to do some out-of-the-box thinking that might make Mayor Street's meeting with Gov. Ridge on education funding next week something other than a remake of Gunfight at the OK Corral, I have come up with a couple of suggestions. One would be for the mayor, before the meeting, to turn over to the school district a major portion of the record $206 million surplus the city amassed last year. By putting money where his mouth is, the mayor could suppress the argument - often heard in Harrisburg - that not even city officials think lack of money is the problem in the city schools, as shown by the fact that Philadelphia spends much less on education, proportionally, than other cities.
NEWS
September 6, 2013 | By Martha Woodall, Inquirer Staff Writer
With the opening of city schools five days away, contract talks between the Philadelphia School District and the teachers' union continued Wednesday without reaching a tentative agreement, both sides said. George Jackson, a spokesman for the 15,000-member Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, said the district and the union would take a break Thursday to observe Rosh Hashanah. Negotiations are set to resume Friday. Also Wednesday, Jackson said the union had put on hold new ads blaming Mayor Nutter and Gov. Corbett for the district's financial crisis because PFT president Jerry Jordan is scheduled to meet with the mayor later this week.
SPORTS
February 23, 1999 | by Dick Jerardi, Daily News Sports Writer
The idea of a tournament among the city's six Division I basketball schools has been around for more than a decade, almost since Big 5 games began moving to campus sites and certainly since Villanova opted out of the full round robin. Play the tournament over a weekend in December with two teams getting byes (or invite two among Delaware, Princeton and Penn State and make it an eight-team tournament). Try any of the dozen formats that have been suggested. Get corporate sponsorship.
NEWS
January 24, 1990 | By Susan Levine, Inquirer Staff Writer
There's a woman in the top job at the Chelsea school department this year. Her name's Diana Lam and she's both the first woman and the first Hispanic superintendent in the city's history. But that is not what makes her appointment remarkable. The fact is, the people who hired Lam last summer don't sit on the local school board. They work for Boston University and hold titles such as dean of education. It's BU that is paying Lam's $75,000 salary, and BU to whom Lam is ultimately accountable.
NEWS
June 9, 2014 | By Thomas Fitzgerald, Inquirer Politics Writer
An offshoot of New York state's Working Families Party has been striving under the radar for the last six months to push Philadelphia-area politics and policy leftward. Pennsylvania Working Families helped win voter approval May 20 of a City Charter change requiring city subcontractors to pay their workers a "living wage" above the federal minimum. And last week, its canvassers turned in just under 40,000 petition signatures to put a nonbinding resolution on the November ballot demanding an end to state control of Philadelphia schools.
NEWS
December 17, 2012 | By Suzette Parmley, Inquirer Staff Writer
Passionate pleas from students and others Saturday put William R. Hite Jr. on the defensive just three months into his job as superintendent of the Philadelphia School District. Hite got an earful during a two-hour public meeting over his recommendations to close or relocate 44 schools throughout the city. "Our children are not for sale!" exclaimed Gail Clouden, 57, a community activist from West Philadelphia. "People are not for sale!" To which Hite responded: "This has to do with funding, and when you don't have funds, you have to make the best use of the money you have.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
April 23, 2016 | By Allison Steele, Staff Writer
Camden officials are hoping to turn several city schools into "community schools" that would provide students with health and social services beyond those provided during class hours. Plans are in the early stages, but Brendan Lowe, a spokesman for the state-run district, said officials hope to select three to six traditional public schools before the next school year. Lowe said that the New Jersey Education Association, the state teachers' union, supports the idea, and that members have met with district officials to discuss the plans.
NEWS
April 22, 2016
The future of the Philadelphia schools does not rest on the result of School Reform Commission member Bill Green's legal fight to regain the board's chairmanship, from which Gov. Wolf unceremoniously demoted him a year ago. But the public schools' well-being does depend on the governance of the district and the state, and Green's lawsuit raises necessary questions about both. The Democratic governor's roughshod removal of the former city councilman over an apparent policy disagreement casts doubt on the independence and utility of the SRC at a time when it's besieged on multiple fronts.
NEWS
April 20, 2016 | By Martha Woodall, Staff Writer
The principals of two city elementary schools slated for academic overhauls will remain to lead the efforts, the School District of Philadelphia announced Monday. Two other elementary schools targeted for district-run turnarounds will get new leaders. "We are excited to welcome two new school leaders and retain two veteran principals in support of our new turnaround model," Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. said in the announcement. "Effective school leadership is key to this work," he said.
NEWS
April 19, 2016 | By Martha Woodall, Staff Writer
During her five years as principal at Lankenau Environmental Science Magnet High School, Karen Dean has stressed academics and the importance of going to college. The veteran administrator also has encouraged staff and students to build partnerships with groups and businesses in the school's Upper Roxborough neighborhood and beyond. Those relationships and Dean's ability to delegate tasks paid dividends after vandals destroyed parts of the school's nearly 17-acre campus in February, including students' gardens.
NEWS
April 14, 2016 | By Martha Woodall, Staff Writer
The Philadelphia School District's charter school office is too small to oversee the 83 charter schools in the city, state Auditor General Eugene A. DePasquale said in a report released Tuesday morning. "By failing to have sufficient staffing and resources to adequately perform and document routine oversight measures, the district is unable to verify the validity of hundreds of millions of dollars it is paying to charter schools in tuition payments," DePasquale wrote in the performance audit.
NEWS
April 9, 2016 | By Emily Babay, Staff Writer
Most boilers in Philadelphia public schools are safe but need repairs, officials said Thursday, about three months after one exploded at an East Mount Airy elementary school, critically injuring a maintenance worker. Authorities inspected all functioning boilers in city schools after the Jan. 13 explosion at F.S. Edmonds Elementary that hurt mechanic Christopher Trakimas. Of the 542 boilers in Philadelphia School District buildings tested, 531 - 98 percent - passed inspection, a report released Thursday said.
NEWS
April 6, 2016 | By Martha Woodall, Staff Writer
The Philadelphia School Reform Commission has come up empty in its bid to undo a recent, devastating state Supreme Court ruling that curtailed powers it thought it had. The state's top court Monday turned down the SRC's request to reconsider a ruling it handed down in February that said the commission had no power to suspend parts of the state school code. The court said that a provision about special powers in the law that led to the state takeover of the city schools in 2001 was unconstitutional.
NEWS
March 26, 2016 | By Martha Woodall, Staff Writer
The Philadelphia School Reform Commission on Thursday approved the broad outlines of a proposed $2.8 billion budget for next year that, while anticipating it will have to pay more for charters and pensions, does not see the district's having to ask City Council for new revenue. In a briefing before the SRC meeting, Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. said the district would ask Harrisburg for more money in the fiscal year that begins July 1, but for the first time in years the city will not be tapped for more.
NEWS
March 23, 2016
For months, I've advocated for detailed annual audits of the nearly $3 billion the Philadelphia School District spends. Despite efforts by City Controller Alan Butkovitz to make that happen, those audits still have not taken place. Yet when I spoke with Dr. William Hite, the district superintendent, in a radio interview nearly nine months ago, he told me he was open to such audits being performed. However, when Butkovitz forwarded a draft resolution detailing the scope of the audits to the School District's chief operational officer, Fran Burns, there was no response.
NEWS
March 20, 2016 | By Martha Woodall, Staff Writer
Philadelphia School Reform Commission member Bill Green Friday added his voice to those urging Gov. Wolf to adopt the Republican-crafted budget he has threatened to veto. In a letter to the governor, the former SRC chairman noted that 261 days have elapsed without a new state budget, forcing cash-strapped districts to borrow millions of dollars to keep schools open. "Your actions in December led schools to receive half of the year's funding to remedy the impact of the budget impasse," wrote Green, a Democrat like Wolf.
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